Within in Christianity there are a wide range of symbols which vary in size whether modern, traditional, denomination. They all symbolise different teachings, events and points within Christianity. In terms of Christian buildings, the architecture and design is often symbolic. There are four main types of buildings; Roman Catholic, Church of England, Orthodox churches and free churches. Roman Catholic and Church of England churches are usually large and this demonstrated their importance. They were built at the centre of the community to represent god's kingship on earth.
Where as Orthodox churches are often in the shape of a cross, with a dome symbolising Christ's presence, eternity and nearness of heaven. Inside Roman Catholic churches and parish churches the altar is the focus of attention, as it's where the main act of worship takes place. The altar which symbolises sacrifice, as it's where the bread and wine is consecrated into the body and blood of Jesus Christ who died on the cross to save the world from sin. The nave symbolizes the congregation as fish, as Jesus who said ''follow me and I will make you fishers of men'' when he fed the hungry.
The pulpit is slightly raised making you look up, symbolising looking up to hear the word of god, it also often has an eagle on it symbolising the word of god being spread around the world. The font which is where you are baptised, this symbolises the washing away of orinal sin, cleansing and replenishing you. Meaning you are therefore part of the Christian community. Candles symbolise god making light on the first day. Smoke going up to heaven which also signifies prayer for the dead and ill. The cross reminds us of the resurrection.
It symbolises Jesus rising to life from a state of death. The crucifix symbolises Jesus' suffering and reminds us of Jesus sacrificing himself to save the world from sin. Stations of the Cross symbolise Jesus being sentenced to death through his burial, the pain and suffering he went through and depict when the conscious pilot witnessed him and he was buried. The Lamb of God which symbolises Jesus sacrificing himself for the sins of the world. The lamb also resembles Jesus as being innocent and pure. And he is like the unblemished lamb offered by the Jews in the temple.
The lectern is where the word of god is spoken, it is most often if not always in the shape of an eagle which therefore symbolises the word of god being spread around the world. The pulpit is also a main focus of attention, it is slightly raised making the worshipping congregation look up, symbolising looking up to hear the word of God. The font which is where you are baptised, this symbolises the washing away of original sin, cleansing and replenishing you. Meaning you are therefore part of the Christian community. The dove is a traditional symbol of peace, purity and reconciliation.
Reminding us of the Holy Spirit. Hassocks symbolise a respectful and humble approach to god through kneeling. Often hassocks have knitted icons on them reminding us of the many teachings jesus acts out within Christianity. There are a range of icons, statues and stained glass windows - all of which are symbolic, Icons are paintings and used to symbolise the presence of saints and as a means to pray. There are also colourful murals and stained glass windows depicting biblical stories. There are also a range of Greek originated symbols within Christianity, they can be expressed through ritual form.
For instance I-ch-th-u-s which is a fish, also an acrostic resembling Jesus, Christ god's son saviour. This reminds Christians that that Jesus is the son of god, the messiah and the saviour of mankind. So, ichtus symbolises the fundamental points of Christianity. INRI a Latin word which symbolises to Jesus Christ king of the Jews. Alpha and Omega the letters at the beginning and end of the Greek alphabet. Signifying god being at the beginning and end as well as eternal. Chi-Rho which is also a Greek word and translates to the anointed one. It also is the first two letters of Christ, and symbolises Christianity as being a christogram.
Iconostasis which symbolises the division between god, people and the word. It is a screen of icons and religious paintings, separating the nave from the sanctuary. We use symbols rather than paintings and icons. This is because we would be worshipping pictures rather than symbols of Jesus which is known to be idolatry. In Christianity, idolatry can refer to the worship of false gods through the use of idols, or worship of the true God through the use of idols. Similarly, Christians use colour and music for different occasions to symbolise different things.
The different colours that are used in Christianity at different feasts and events. The most important colours are white, red, and purple. White which symbolises, virginity, birth and innocence and is often used at Christmas and Easter through the liturgical year. Red signifies action, fire, charity and the sun of the joy of life and the Holy Spirit and is often used at Pentecost. Purple which represents fasting, faith and patience and used at advent and lent as it's a colour of penance. Church music is symbolic in Christianity as it is used to praise God and express belief.
Hymns have been part of Christian worship for many centuries; they often contain passages of scripture which remind us of some fundamental points in Christianity. Choirs have an importance within music giving a leadership role by singing hymns of praise. Different instruments are used from organs to bass instruments; these depend on whether the hymns are solemn or dignified, and on the occasion. The type of instrument and mood is often symbolic of celebration or sadness. In summary, there are many symbols used in Christianity and they plays a vital part in religious expression.